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Microfluidic Biofuel Cells: Challenges and Opportunities
1  Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Micro/Nano Systems for Aerospace, School of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, PR China


Microfluidic electrochemical system precisely manipulate fluid flow in microstructure to generate and transform energy. Among various microfluidic devices, microfluidic biofuel cells combine the microfluidic technology with bio-catalysts (e.g. enzyme, bacteria) and represent a novel carbon-neutral power generator. This paper gives a brief review of the recent accomplishments in microfluidic biofuel cells including fundamental working principles, state-of-the-art devices and key challenges. To be amenable to other micro systems, issues of energy output, scaling-up and functional-architecture design are especially proposed. The potential application opportunities in niche power source, sensor and analysis system are also discussed.

Keywords: Microfluidic; Laminar flow; Biofuel Cell; Advanced fabrication technology